Stay Safe from Salt and Sand
Winter roads are really bad for your car. Here’s how to protect your car from road salt and sand.
In cold areas that get heavy ice and snowfall, icy roads are a major obstacle and hazard. Even though it isn’t particularly cold in Victoria, the continuous ‘freeze-thaw’ cycle that happens can lead to hazardous road conditions. It is always a priority in these places to keep their means of transportation open by “de-icing” the roads. The two most prominent de-icers that many cities use are salt and sand. Both are effective means of dealing with frozen streets, but they also have their drawbacks. The main drawback is that both of them are AWFUL for our vehicles. Salt ruins our paint, clear coats, and undercarriages, and gravel spray is the biggest cause of paint chips and rim rash on the road (just ask anyone who drives the Coquihalla). Let’s look at how de-icers work and how to reduce their damage to our vehicles.
What Do They Do?
SALT: Salt helps against icy roads by lowering the freezing point of the water in the snow and ice, causing it to melt and in ideal conditions, stay in liquid form longer. Pure water freezes at 0 degrees C, but a 20% solution of salt and water alters the water and lowers its freezing temperature all the way down to almost -18 degrees C.
GRAVEL/SAND: Sand and gravel, while effective at managing ice, don’t actually melt anything. Sand and other abrasive materials work by improving traction over ice. Friction may melt the ice, but this is an incidental addition to the functionality. This makes sense when you consider that the goal of de-icing a road isn’t just to melt ice, it’s to make the road safe and drivable which is exactly what sand accomplishes.
How Do They Hurt Our Vehicles?
Prolonged exposure to salt can cause rust to build up on hidden parts of your car, and slowly eat away at the metal. If you park your car in a warm garage and the ice on it melts, you are at higher risk that salt is going to damage your car. Rust forms when moisture and oxygen combine on metal, and salt accelerates that process because it corrodes.
Sand and gravel do something entirely different. Since they just sit on top of the ice to help aid tire traction, it ends up getting sprayed out from beneath the tires and onto the bumper, hood, and fenders of the car behind you. After a winter of heavy road rash, the body shops are busy morning till night doing repainting and scratch repairs.
How To Prevent Winter Damage
Paint protection films really are the only way to go. They are invisible, they are self-healing, they never stain or corrode. They just sit on top of your vehicle’s paint protecting it and keeping it factory fresh for as long as you own the vehicle. When you consider the price of even just a few scratch repairs you realize that the service pays for itself many times over.
Think you are ready to protect your investment? Be in touch, we would love to help you out.